Thursday, October 18, 2018
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What’s in a Picture? A Former Mayor in Search of Attention (The Red Badge of Shame)?

 Wardheernews series- What’s in a Picture 

Former Mogadishu Mayor Thabit Abdi in Burundi

Former Mogadishu Mayor, Thabit Abdi, was in Bujumbura, Burundi, last week to encourage Somalia’s under 17 national football team at the East and Central Africa Football Association (CECAFA) championship game. He took the players to a restaurant for lunch.

Thabit’s picture at Bujumbura International Airport is revealing. He is wearing a suit and a red band on his left arm. What is odd about the image is that the former mayor is still wearing the red band which he wore last October when Al-Shabaab caused the deadliest suicide bombing in Mogadishu’s history. Interestingly, Thabit was all over the news for his obsession with fame— obstructing urgent aid on its way to the injured. He and his security detail made it difficult for responders to do their job- the relief work, hindering the smooth operations of emergency services.

Moreover, instead of letting the other government agencies responsible for national disasters do their mandated work, Thabit was everywhere, accepting aid from international donors and reveling in the media limelight.

Not once did he take responsibility for the tragic security lapse that caused the deadly attack on October 14. It was no surprise that Thabit lost his job a few months ago when the Somali President Mohamed Farmajo fired him.

Thabit with the Somali national team

The man who used to seek media attention was suddenly nowhere to be seen. He has been trying to make a political comeback, but to no avail. However, the opportunity to seek attention finally came when Somalia’s young national football team made it to the finals in Burundi.

President Farmajo, who was supposed to attend the championship match, cancelled his trip at the eleventh hour.

Who was there to attend the event? Thabit.

He decided to latch his name to the popular Somali national football team. Unfortunately, the former  mayor is still wearing that shameful red band which reminds everyone his leadership failures. Sad!

WardheerNews


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